A Touch of Sin (Tian zhu ding) Chinese film, written and directed by Jia Zhangke. Film was nominated for Palme d'Or at Cannes Film Festival 2013 - where the director Jia who also wrote the screenplay won the Best Screenplay award. Starring Jiang Wu and Zhao Tao (Jia's wife and frequent-collaborator). A Touch of Sin is based on four major real violent-stories set in contemporary China.
The opening shot shows a biker brutally shoots dead three assailants in a rapid gunfire, while sitting on his motor-bike. We then see, Jiang Wu a miner in a small town who works at a factory, where the boss to arrive is his former class-fellow. Wu gets frustrated with status that his ex-colleagues, who have purchased lavish and cozy vehicles. He sees the lack of honesty among top-management for the oppressed workers. He tries to amend these issues when the boss of factory arrives to takeover before heaps of workers - which embarrasses his boss. Wu is attacked on spot by the security with an iron-rod strikes on his head. He is relieved of his job, and given an apology letter along with sum of amount (extra amount in fact) to leave the area. Dejected and frustrated, he goes to his sister for advice; after receiving no proper reply, he takes it on himself to clean the town of corrupt people by picking up his favorite gun.
Zhao works as a receptionist at a sauna, she's been flirting with a married man. She suffers the worst at her lover's wife, and new pervert customers who want her for their massage. A young lad loses salary for couple of weeks at a factory, for causing an incident in which another employee almost got his hand cut. He's suffering from domestic financial problems, which compels him to commit suicide. Three estranged brothers gather in their village - each one of them possess a personality that is unacceptable to how they were raised as child.
Jia's film draws your attention to certain critical events that happen, not just at the mercy of the Chinese government but how the society has let it slip from under their hands (just like a sand in your fist). The need to reclaim your rights from money-grabbing cronies, who do not give a darn about people's financial conditions, and sufferings. While they accumulate vast portion of wealth the poor get poorer.
Excellent action sequences (especially the opening scene with Jia's story). As we get deeper into this, we witness mild stories BUT now without the violence and blood in it - and of course central subject being 'money'. Breathtaking photography, although Jia was supposed to brush off some the last two segments, they feel bleak and subtle for new-comers.